Prevent summer scald burns

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As the temperatures rise across West Michigan, summertime brings children and adults outdoors for family gatherings, cookouts and a time to play.  However one area firefighter warns of the dangers of water that stays in an outdoor water hose.

Lt. Michael McLeieer from the non-profit charity E.S.C.A.P.E. Fire Safety and the Olivet Fire Department says that “children and adults can suffer second degree burns when hot water is sprayed on them from a garden hose that has been sitting outside in the sun.”

“Water left in an outside hose can reach temperatures between 130 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit.  That is hot enough to cause a scald burn within seconds to children and animals,” according to McLeieer.

Toddlers and children are more often burned by a scald from hot liquid or steam.  Most children ages 4 and under who are hospitalized for burn-related injuries suffer from a scald burn (65%) or contact burns (20%).  Hot water burns including hot tap water, causes more deaths and hospitalizations than burns from any other hot liquids.

Lt. McLeieer offers these additional safety tips to keep everyone safe throughout the summer months:

  • Adults or caregivers should allow the water to flow from a hose for several minutes purging the hot water and replacing it with cool water before spraying children, animals or outdoor plants.
  • Dump standing water from outdoor inflatable ground level water slides when finished.
  • Closely supervise all children when they are playing with a garden hose and sprayer.
  • If a child experiences a 1st or 2nd degree burn, cool the burned area with cool running water for up to 15 minutes, cover the burn with a dry, clean, non-stick bandage and seek medical attention for 2nd degree burns that blister.
  • Do not use ice, butter, lotions or oil on burns as they can seal in the heat and lead to infection and further burning.
  • Take your child to the emergency room or call 911 for burns on their hands, feet or genitals that cause blisters or burns that cause the skin to be open.


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